Tag: data

Google Analytics

Google has some great help pages for using analytics, but there is a lot of information because there are so many things you can track.

Google Analytics is updated daily. You will be able to see information for yesterday and before. If you do not have access to analytics for a CMS site that you manage, contact cmshelp@mtu.edu for access.

Because there are so many blog sites within our system, we can provide specific reports for those when needed. If you are interested in analytics for a separate C-panel or WordPress installation you can contact IT Help to inquire about how to set up.

To get started, go to http://analytics.google.com/ and sign in with your Michigan Tech email account.

Select and Compare Date Ranges

Google Analytics allows you to view data for a specified date range. The Select and compare date ranges page will show you how to change that date range and even how to view a comparison of two date ranges.


One of the analytics sections that the web team looks at the most is within the Behavior section. This section of analytics is all about what users are doing when they are on your site. Here you will be able to dig down into specific pages and see their performance. Google explains more about the Behavior Reports.

Under Behavior on the left, go to Site Content and All Pages. This is a great basic report to look at. There is a graph of the traffic for your site at the top. Beneath that are several statistics with columns of data. The rows are ordered by the pages with the most amount of traffic.

  • Pageviews: Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.
  • Unique Pageviews: Unique Pageviews is the number of sessions during which the specified page was viewed at least once. A unique pageview is counted for each Page URL + Page Title combination. If I were to look at a page and refresh it five times, that would only count as one unique pageview.
  • Avg. Time on Page: The average amount of time users spent viewing a specified page or screen, or set of pages or screens. Generally, more is better as most of our webpages are informational rather than transactional, but you do want to consider the content and purpose of the specific page when evaluating this. Two to three minutes is a good range. If a user has multiple tabs open and a particular page is just sitting open but not active, Google detects this and times out or discounts this behavior. There is a cap of 30 minutes for any one measurement. One thing that can affect this number is people having a certain page as their home page on a browser.
  • Entrance: The number of times that this page was the first page that a user went to for your site. If it wasn’t the homepage, maybe they got to the page from a social media promotion or a link from a publication, the A to Z page, or an email.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds. Learn more. This is generally not good. If a certain page has a high bounce rate, you should probably revisit the page, its purpose, and the content. Generally, we want to keep the bounce rate below 50%.
  • Exit %: When a user has been on at least two pages in your site then leave, the last page they were on is the exit page. Whether this number is good or bad depends on the purpose of the page. There is no magic number for this. If the purpose of the page is to get them to apply or to give a donation, you want your Exit % to be higher showing they are leaving your site and going to apply or donate.
  • Page Value: This does not apply to our sites as it is for purchase transactions and we don’t do that.

If you click on one of the pages listed in the statistics you will see a graph and the stats for just that one page.

Audience Overview

When you first log into Google Analytics the Audience Overview page is displayed. This page will show you a snapshot of the traffic on your site within the date parameters you set. At the bottom of the page are links to additional information about your audience. Google has more information about all of the Audience Reports.

There are a lot of places throughout Google Analytics where you can hover your cursor over content to learn more. This is the case with the numbers listed under the graph. In addition to some of the statistics shown on the Behavior, Site Content, All Pages analytics, there are a few more.

  • Sessions: Total number of Sessions within the date range. A session is the period time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc. All usage data (Screen Views, Events, Ecommerce, etc.) is associated with a session.
  • Users: Users who have initiated at least one session during the date range. Learn more about how Analytics calculates the number of users.
  • Pages/Session: Pages/Session (Average Page Depth) is the average number of pages viewed during a session. Repeated views of a single page are counted.
  • Avg. Session Duration: The average length of a Session. This is for the site as a whole, rather than any one specific page.
  • % New Sessions: An estimate of the percentage of first time visits. This is normally determined by the device’s IP address. The number you want to see here depends on the purpose of your site. If you have an internal audience you probably will have a lower percentage in this statistic, but that is fine because you are more interested in the people that are already here coming back.
  • In the Demographics area of this page you can choose to see information about language, country, or city. For more details about country or city demographics go to the report at Audience, Geo, Location. You can also see reports on System and Mobile information. Overall, the University traffic is close to 50% mobile.


This section of analytics tells you how your users got to your site and what they are doing on your site once they get there. You can read more about Acquisition Reports on Google’s site.

  • Organic Search is traffic coming in from a search engine. This includes the search bar in the header of Michigan Tech websites.
  • Direct is a user going to a bookmark or directly typing the URL in.
  • Referral comes from links on sites outside of Michigan Tech, search engines, or social media.
  • Social is any link coming from one of the social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. For more details on Social Media traffic, go to the report at Acquisition, Social, Overview.


The real-time reports show information about what is currently happening. This could be useful in certain situations. For example, if you send out an email sending people to your website, you could look at the real-time analytics to see if users are going to the link.

If you want to learn more, Google offers free online courses for analytics.

Global Asset Listing

There are several assets created and maintained by University Marketing and Communications, described below, that can be  used on your website. As the data included in these assets changes, we will update them and the updated information will automatically update on any pages where the asset is used. Check back as this list gets updated as new assets are added. Suggestions for new assets can be sent to cmshelp@mtu.edu. These assets will all begin with [Global].

  • Apply Now Button (/apply/): This asset is a gold button with the text “Apply Now” that links to the Banweb application page.
  • Apply Now No-Box Sidebar Button (Banweb): This asset include the Sidebar Right No Box snippet around a gold button with the text “Apply Now” that links to the Banweb application page. It should only be used in a Right Sidebar region.
  • General Enrollment Stat: This asset is only text showing the current advertised enrollment number.
  • Generic Social Media Feed Connect: This asset displays recent social media posts and links to social media for Michigan Tech. At this time, this asset can only display Michigan Tech content. There is no option to customize for a specific department.
    Social Media connect widget.
  • Job Posting Template Campus and Community Section: This is the Campus and Community information section that can be used in the Main Content region of a page that includes a heading, paragraph, and images. This is found in the jobs template.
    Campus and Community global asset content.
  • Job Posting Template Relocation Resources: This is the Relocation Resources section that can be used in the Main Content region of a page that includes a heading, text, and links. This is found in the jobs template.
    Relocation Resources asset content.
  • Jobs Page Template About Michigan Tech Sidebar: This asset is a Sidebar Right Boxed snippet with a title of “About Michigan Tech” then links to various informational pages. It should only be used in a Right Sidebar region.
    About Michigan Tech boxed sidebar.
  • Tout #: The assets beginning with “Tout #” are most commonly used in List Spread Tout Buttons snippets in the Button Text (Linked) field. This is the number or statistic portion of the statement. Use this asset in conjunction with the matching “Tout Text” asset. Where possible, the content is linked to an appropriate webpage, creating the Go button functionality of the touts.
  • Tout Text: The assets beginning with “Tout Text” are used in conjunction with the matching “Tout #” asset. This is the text portion of the statement. In a List Spread Tout Buttons snippet, this asset is used in the Content After field.
  • Undergraduate Admissions Sidebar: This asset is a Sidebar Right Boxed snippet with a title of “Admissions” then links to important admissions information. It should only be used in a Right Sidebar region.
    Admissions boxed right sidebar with links.